Sheriff Grady Judd announced what he called “the single largest seizure of drugs and arrests made in the history of Polk County during an undercover wiretap investigation” on Friday.
A two-year investigation resulted in the Central Florida HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) task force — along with the help of state, federal and local agencies nationwide — dismantling an extensive drug trafficking organization, according to the sheriff.
Judd explained that the investigation began in September 2020 when detectives executed a search warrant in Winter Haven and seized and a pound of methamphetamine. Over the course of the next two years, detectives learned that large amounts of the drug were being smuggled from Mexico to California and then to Florida by way of Los Angeles International Airport.
“We’re dealing with an international smuggling ring that operated out of Winter Haven, Florida,” Judd said during the news conference.